Right-wing media are attacking President Obama's statement that he "believe[s] that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country" and are entitled to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan.
Earlier this week, following the lead of Matt Drudge, conservative media figures absurdly claimed that Vice President Biden "compared Republicans to Nazis" when he used the term "blitzkrieg" in a fundraising email. As we pointed out, not only have numerous conservative elected officials and media outlets used the term "blitzkrieg" in a political context before, but they also routinely make far more explicit comparisons of Democrats to Nazis.
Well, using Matt Drudge's "standards," apparently Ted Nugent compared himself to a Nazi today in an op-ed he published in The Washington Times:
I'm on my 47th annual blitzkrieg rock 'n' roll tour across America. I have many guitars, oversized amplifiers and plenty of guns and ammo. The American Boy Scout lives. Prepared is good. Unprepared is for losers. Know it.
It would be absurd and dishonest to accuse Ted Nugent of comparing himself to a Nazi here - just as dishonest as it was when conservative media figures played dumb to accuse Biden of comparing Republicans to Nazis.
From the July 1 edition of MSNBC's Countdown:
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Proving yet again that his commitment to breaking "news" that appeals to the conservative noise machine trumps any commitment to facts and reality, Matt Drudge is currently hosting the following link on his website:
The article he links to makes no mention of gay employees being paid "more than" straight employees. What it does indicate is that Google will be adjusting the paychecks for its same-sex couples in order to cover a "disparity" in federal taxes on domestic partner benefits.
Here's how the New York Times explained the move by Google [emphasis added]:
Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income, if the partner is not considered a dependent. The tax owed is based on the value of the partner's coverage paid by the employer.
On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage, according to a 2007 report by M. V. Lee Badgett, director of the Williams Institute, a research group that studies sexual orientation policy issues.
So Google is essentially going to cover those costs, putting same-sex couples on an even footing with heterosexual employees whose spouses and families receive health benefits.
A more accurate Drudge headline would have been: "Google to pay gay employees the same as straights," but I guess that just sounds too sane and reasonable.
Last summer, when Nancy Pelosi observed that some tea party protestors were carrying signs bearing swastikas, the conservative media twisted her comments to claim she was comparing the protestors themselves to Nazis. As we pointed out at the time, this was absurd for two reasons. First, Pelosi clearly was not comparing the protestors to Nazis; she was merely making an accurate observation that was later confirmed by Fox News' own reporting. Second, conservatives' supposed concern over Nazi comparisons was belied by the fact that they regularly compare Democrats and their policies to Nazis.
Well, once again conservatives are accusing a Democrat of making a Nazi comparison, and once again it doesn't hold up to even basic scrutiny.
Their latest trip to the fainting couch was brought on by the following passage from a fundraising email sent out by the DCCC, in which Vice President Joe Biden says:
As things heat up, you can expect House Democrats will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and tea party disruptions.
In an apparent attempt to prove Biden's point, conservatives have dishonestly twisted Biden's use of the word "blitzkrieg" in order to engage in exactly the type of "thinly veiled attempts at character assassination" Biden warned against by claiming, in Matt Drudge's words, that "Biden Compares Republicans to Nazis."
In recent days, right-wing media figures and outlets have attempted to make hay over Clinton-era documents which they falsely claim demonstrate Elena Kagan's "willingness to manipulate medical science" for political purposes. In fact, Kagan did no such thing. The documents in question center around the drawn out debate concerning late-'90s legislation which would have banned, under most circumstances, so-called "partial birth" abortions. The Clinton administration's position was that the ban would be acceptable, provided there was a narrowly-drawn exception to preserve the health of the pregnant woman. The Clinton administration also endorsed a ban on late-term abortions that also had a narrowly-drawn health exception.
Kagan served as a legal advisor to Clinton at the time and was involved in providing policy recommendations to the administration on the issue.
The right has seized on several documents and memos related to the Clinton administration's talks with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) about an abortion procedure referred to as intact D&X (which ACOG determined was the likely target of the "partial birth" abortion proposals), and its necessity. In particular, they are highlighting a draft ACOG statement on pending legislation that would ban the procedure, in which the ACOG stated:
Terminating a pregnancy is indicated in some circumstances to save the life or preserve the health of the mother. Intact D&X is one of the methods available in some of these situations. However, a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. Notwithstanding this conclusion, ACOG strongly believes that decision about medical treatment must be made by the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances. The potential exists that legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D&X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women. The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and potentially dangerous.
In a December 14, 1996, memo, Kagan wrote that it would be a "disaster" if the ACOG issued this draft statement as its final statement. Kagan's files also include handwritten notes titled "suggested options," and those notes include language that mirrors ACOG's publicly released final statement on the "partial birth" abortion bill.
The right-wing blogs are screaming that this is evidence that Kagan interfered with "medical science" to advance the Clinton administration's politics. But Kagan did no such thing. ACOG's final statement is perfectly consistent with the draft statement and with ACOG's medical panel's assessment that it "could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman." Indeed, the panel's assessment was still included in ACOG's final statement on the issue.
And none of the right-wing media attacks have even plausibly suggested a way in which ACOG's draft statement and its final statement conflict.
Matt Drudge highlighted a post by the website KaganWatch.com that stated that Elena Kagan wrote "the Second Amendment ... enjoys 'strong, but not unlimited protection' " -- apparently to suggest that Kagan was hostile to gun rights. In fact, in a decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban, the Supreme Court said that gun rights "are not unlimited."
Right-wing media have highlighted April's increase in unemployment to attack President Obama's economic policies. But the monthly increase in payrolls was the largest in four years, and the unemployment uptick reportedly occurred "mainly because 805,000 jobseekers -- perhaps feeling better about their prospects -- resumed their searches for work."
Conservative media have suggested that the Department of Homeland Security is to blame for alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad boarding a plane. However, administration officials have stated the airline failed to review the updated no-fly list after Shahzad's addition, and that sending the passenger manifest to Customs and Border Protection successfully prevented Shahzad's escape.
Even after Mediaite retracted its claim that a link to a news story from The Drudge Report gives a story "credibility," it continued to claim that such a link conveys "significance" and makes the linked story worthy of further discussion. But many of the stories promoted by Drudge are entirely fabricated.
From The Drudge Report, accessed on April 28:
Numerous right-wing media figures have rushed to defend Arizona's controversial new immigration law, often by employing racially charged rhetoric, imagery, and stereotypes. Many have also embraced racial profiling while promoting the legislation.
Spurred by Matt Drudge, the right-wing commentariat is buzzing over President Obama's videotaped appeal to his supporters, in which he asks them to gear up for the 2010 midterms and help turn out the same voters who came out to vote in 2008:
In 2010, it will be up to each of you to ask folks like Claudia to stay involved, and to explain why, this year, the stakes are higher than ever. It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again.
Because Obama used the words "African-American" and "Latino," Drudge put up the headline: "Obama plays race card: Rallies blacks, Latinos for '10 upset." Drudge's inflammatory headline was then picked up by the rest of the conservative echo chamber, from third-rate bloggers all the way up to Boss Limbaugh.
This is so dumb it hurts.
Following the announcement that the Security and Exchange Commission is investigating the investment firm Goldman Sachs for fraud, an April 19 FoxNews.com article reported that the "White House...strongly denied any involvement in the timing of the high-profile fraud case against Goldman Sachs," after Republicans and their media acolytes suggested the charges were timed to help pass financial reform. Fox News reported that "Republicans also accused the administration of biting the hand that fed it, since Goldman Sachs was President Obama's top Wall Street contributor during the 2008 campaign, with employees donating nearly $1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics," and went on to quote Rep. John Boehner as asking "just whose side is President Obama on?" Pause for reaction. First of all, the SEC is a non-partisan body that is operating independent of the White House. Secondly, the accusation that the President is "biting the hand that fed it" makes absolutely no sense. Wouldn't the real scandal be if Obama interfered with a SEC investigation because the subject of the investigation was a large campaign contributor of his?
From The Drudge Report on March 29: